Sunday 19 February 2023

Mini Review of Megacon 2022 Season

After returning from covid in late 2021 a big announcement was made regarding the companies that would be running what usually would be the MCM line up for the following year. Megacon (an American convention company), has absorbed half of the MCM roster and will be our hosts moving forward for Dublin (January), Birmingham (March) and Manchester (July), the venues for which remaining the same for each location.

In Megacon’s first year of conventions in the UK I was able to attend both Birmingham and Manchester, so here's some of my opinions and what to expect if you decide to head to a Megacon this year. Arrival at one of these Megacons is much the same experience as any other con, you are directed to the relevant areas for security checks and to scan passes and enter the convention. Staff and security I found to be actually quite helpful and friendly compared to what I’ve experienced at other events.

It’s pretty apparent that compared to that of MCM the convention floor was smaller for both Manchester and Birmingham with the latter being much more noticeable. I gotta say though, this didn’t take away much of the con experience for me. I spoke with many other cosplayers and influencers to see if any others shared this view, and many of you did! Most of the important stuff that we would expect to see at a con were there; a main stage and masquerade, artist/creator panels, celebrity guests, and a good selection of stalls. Paying some closer attention to the stalls at the convention, I did notice a little more variety with the stalls present, with some new faces that I’d not seen before which was great to see! Here are the floor maps for both Brum and Manny for you to get an idea of what it might be like for this year:

The inclusion of the kids activity zone was a unique inclusion, and something I’ve not seen at a con before. I’m not sure how popular this was across both weekends, but its inclusion across all of their cons last year means you can expect to see this area be a mainstay for megacon, and one aspect that separates it from other cons. 

Speaking of things that stand out, something that made these Megacons so good was their celebrity guests, but not just the guests… they went about the whole guest attraction. Megacon were first to welcome guests from the popular title Genshin Impact, hosting the voice actress for the main character Paimon (Corina Boettger) and first to welcome voice actors of Silco (Jason Spisak) and Vandhar (JB Blanc) from the newly released series Arcane. Many others included Doctor Who actors, John Barrowman, Colin Baker and Paul McGann. Lotr actor John Rhys-Davies amongst many many others. The strong guest lineup wasn’t just it though. All their respective stage panels were fantastic! 

What I really noticed was that it seemed to me the guests at these cons were given a lot more freedom to walk the floor if they wanted to. I found myself on many occasions running into some of the celebrity guests whilst shopping, navigating the show floor or while I was attending meets. I remember running into John Barrowman at the RGL Customs stand buying himself some star wars merch, and was able to have a chat with him and the guys at the stand. Andrew Lee Pots, who I’d met the previous year at a convention, approached me to say hello and take photos and best of all, Jason Spisak made the weekend of everyone who attended the Arcane meet in Manchester by joining in on our photoshoots dressed as Silco!  

On the topic of meets, Megacon included areas on the con floor in Manchester dedicated to cosplay meets, and left other areas open for use. For organisers that I was able to speak to, it made their lives much easier as many of the meets were featured on the Megacon website and were most importantly very easy to find. Unfortunately I could not attend all of the meets myself, but above and below, you can see a few of the photos from ones I did manage to get to.

Overall Megacon didn’t let us down last year. Yes it goes without question that they are a smaller con than what were used to with MCM, but they included a lot of the key aspects that make up a con with some unique twists of their own. I think the saying “quality over quantity” really rings true when it comes to describing Megacon. Ultimately, the attendees are what make con… well, con but Mega have done a good job at helping to facilitate this. Ticket prices are reasonable, they look to give opportunities for newer businesses and content creators as well as all of the other things I’ve talked about. I expect for the 2023 season that we will see this continue along with some expansion to the show floor. Hopefully the guest lineups don't get too repetitive like we’ve seen at other cons, maybe we can look forward to some guests from some newer releases once again! Let us know who you’d love to see! And let us know what you thought of Megacon’s first season, we’d love to hear from you!

The Wong Cosplay

No comments:

Post a Comment